Online Dating, For the Win!

If recent Match.com commercials are to be believed, many a modern romance starts online. As such, I’d like to introduce myself as a happy statistic. Before I met Will, I was a serial online dater.

I did Match.com…

then eHarmony…

then Match again…


and then OKCupid where I met Will in January 2010. Over a year later, I can affirm that signing up for an online dating account was the best decision I’ve ever made (YES, even better than studying abroad which I’m always yammering on about as being such a great decision. It was. Will is better).

So how did it all go down?

I spent time on the site. All the people who told me that I’d “find the guy I was looking for” when I “stopped looking” can officially eat it. What is the point of putting yourself out there if you aren’t actually putting yourself out there? (Cue reference to that one episode of Sex and the City where that dating guru lady insists that Charlotte is not really “putting herself out there.” This is not that. I’m no guru. Also, my advice is free). I made online dating into a little “task” I had to perform each day and I spent a pre-determined amount of time looking at profiles and writing/responding to messages. Sound a touch lame? Maybe it was. For me, though, if I was paying to be on the site, I would… be on the site.

I talked to people on the site. All dating sites are somewhat different but all have some variant of a messaging system. I used it. No, I didn’t spam every boy in my area code, but if I was interested in someone (based on what they’d shared in their profile), I let them know. Sometimes, they responded, sometimes, they didn’t. That’s kinda how the game goes in real life though, no?

I met people in person (In public. In a well-lit place). Did I go on a lot of bad dates? No. (Did I go on a few? Yes). I also went on a couple oh-my-goodness, tingly-smiles, text-all-my friends good dates that kept me a believer. By the time I met these guys in person, we’d exchanged several messages online and I was fairly convinced I wasn’t walking onto the set of Law & Order, SVU.

Rinse and repeat. Your mileage may vary. Caveat emptor.

I won’t get all glib and say that it was easy. Or fun, really, because sometimes it wasn’t. Sometimes, despite evidence to the contrary right in front of me on my computer, I felt like the. last. single. girl. EVER. It was frustrating, it was time-consuming, it was challenging.

But it was worth it.

(ok, that ending was a touch glib, but I’m serious. I’d do it all again knowing that Will was waiting for me at the end. Oh, that was SUPER glib. OK, I’m out). 

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About Helena

Helena lives in Chicago with her boyfriend and two cats. Her boyfriend thinks she's awesome. Her cats agree.

Posted on May 11, 2011, in Love & Relationships and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Love it!

    Online dating helped me find my fella too. And to join you on the geeky/lame front, my roommate and I sat down one night with colored markers and giant piece of poster board, to figure out where we should be focusing our man-finding energy. It helped me realize that the kind of guy I wanted to date probably wasn’t going to be slamming shots of tequila at a bar…he’d be looking for a girl to play video games with. Online 🙂

    • Aww, that’s adorable! I think people get hung up on the “stigma” of meeting people online, but 1) I think that’s significantly faded and 2) who the heck cares if you find someone in the end?!

      • I’m the roommate Erin mentioned and I recall that night as a turning point in my dating life too. I did a lot of online dating after that. I didn’t meet my boyfriend online, but I think online dating prepared me to meet him. Online dating (and the in person encounters) helped me figure out who I am, who I was looking for and what I wanted out of a relationship. It’s odd to think about, but that’s not something everyone thinks about before they start seriously dating. I’ve recommended online dating to many of my friends since. Great post! I really enjoy your blog!

      • What a great insight, Debbie – the online dating process (setting up a profile, interacting, etc.) really does make you hone in on what you want out of someone when (or where) you meet them.

  2. I think the stigma’s a lot less than it used to be. I know multiple eHarmony couples and a very close friend is getting married this summer to a guy she met on Yahoo Personals. And my dad met his wife (that sounds so weird) on eHarmony.

    That said, while I understand the idea that it does take some effort, I also think there’s something to be said for being happy with the way your life is as a single person first (hence the “stop looking” advice). Not that you shouldn’t look, but that you shouldn’t be searching in desperation. The aforementioned engaged friend and her fiance both bought condos about a month before they met. (Oops!) They were happy with their lives, but seeing who was out there, and… the rest is history. 🙂 (And now they have to figure out if they can sell her condo!)

    • Oh yeah, you have to be happy with yourself or you’ll never be happy with anyone else. It just felt like I was being told to be passive about it, and I’m not passive about… well… anything.

  3. “What is the point of putting yourself out there if you aren’t actually putting yourself out there?”

    I agree. I’ve never really understood the idea of doing important things half-assed & then saying whatever the results are is good enough for me. IMHO, you’ve gotta have a little spunk if you want things to work out in your favor.

    And that being said, glad that you were diligent and found your sweetie-pie. 🙂

  4. Helena-
    Love the post. I met my boyfriend on Eharmony.com, and you are right, it was work. When we met, it was amazing, and we have been together for a year..:)

  5. I met my fiancee on Lavalife, I did meet a lot of duds (losers, creeps, married men) but when I met Scott, it was game over. Forgot about all the bad experiences and just basked in the glow of finding my match.

  6. One of the reasons online dating is so popular these days is because there’s a dearth of other ways to meet people if you’re Gen Y/Millennial/whatever the new catchphrase is. Without clubs to attend several times a month, people aren’t expanding their social circles the same way our grandparents’ generation used to. Hence why, when we try to find people to date, we seemingly only have two options: a bar, or online.

    That said, I met my boyfriend in the more boring way possible: at a housewarming party for a mutual friend. At least he’s German, I’m American, and we’re in Australia. That makes it a wee bit more interesting!

  7. Oh, I LOVE OKCupid’s blog. In particular, I enjoyed the one where they divided men and women by race and showed the most popular words or phrases they used to describe themselves.

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